Apologies I haven't posted anything here for ages. Unfortunately life got in the way so I've been out of the picture for a while. Sadly my amp/dac budget got used up by other priorities.
I have now started looking again and trying to catch up with any worthwhile news or new products that I may have missed.
I still have my LCD-3's which I absolutely adore. And yes, sadly, I'm still only running them directly from my MacBook, BUT ... I am honestly really enjoying the sound.
During this time, I have also been able to find a few DSD files (SACD iso's) and try them with Audirvana. The MacBook's internal DAC limits playback to 24/88.2, but the music STILL sounded heavenly. I have the same files as 16/44.1 flacs and even though the flacs sound great, the difference in quality between the flac and DSD files is night and day. This has caused me to reconsider my original choices, and I would now very much like to have the option of DSD playback.
A few options are:
Mytek Stereo 192 DSD DAC - I'd use this as a DAC and a headphone amp, and after a few months, add a Burson Soloist or another similarly priced headphone amp (Pathos Aurium anyone?).
Benchmark DAC2 HGC - again I'd use this on it's own and eventually add a dedicated headphone amp.
I know some will say that DSD is not important and that good quality 24/96 or 24/192 recordings can sound equally as good as DSD.
I can believe that, and with that in mind I still have the Burson Conductor (with CM6631A module upgrade) on my shortlist. Although over the past few months I have been slightly put off the Conductor due to various comments I have read. However for now it'll stay on my short-list.
I've decided against the Bakoon, as it is (and was) over my budget to start with, but also because I'd then have to spend more to get a DAC too.